Plants and Animals

Melanoplus flavidus Blue-legged locust

Key Characteristics

The blue-legged locust is a medium-sized, slender-winged grasshopper with bluish-gray hind tibiae and hind femora with a dull yellow lateral stripe.

Status and Rank

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S2 - Imperiled


CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed

Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Inhabits open, sandy, sparsely vegetated grasslands. An herbivore, this species prefers forbs but will eat grasses as a secondary food source.

Natural Community Types

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Management Recommendations

Maintain and restore suitable dry prairie and barrens habitat. When using fire as a management tool, avoid burning all of suitable or occupied habitat at once, wait several years before repeat burning of the same site to allow populations to recover.

Active Period

Active from fourth week of July to second week of September

Survey Methods

While surveyors may be able to detect this species by song if familiar with its call, a specimen in hand may be necessary for positive ID.

Sweep net, auditory

Survey Period: From fourth week of July to second week of September


Survey References

  • Martin, J.E.H. 1977. The Insects and Arachnids of Canada (Part 1): Collecting, preparing, and preserving insects, mites, and spiders. Publication 1643. Biosystematics Research Institute, Ottawa.

Technical References

  • Bland, R.G. 2003. The Orthoptera of Michigan: Biology, Keys, and Descriptions of Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets. Michigan State University Extension, East Lansing. Extension Bulletin E-2815. 220pp.